Ancient Greek for Everyone

Ancient Greek for Everyone:
A New Digital Resource for
Beginning Greek
Unit 6: Prepositions
Classical Reading
2013 edition
Wilfred E. Major
[email protected]
Ancient Greek for Everyone
• This class
– Unit 6 Classical reading.
– Be able to:
• read the sentences aloud
• parse each verb, noun and pronoun
• translate the sentences into English.
Ancient Greek for Everyone
• The oldest surviving script of a play in the world is Persians
by Aeschylus, originally performed in 472 BC.
• In 479 BC, the Greeks had scored a shocking naval victory
over the Persians at the Battle of Salamis. Aeschylus himself
had fought in the battle. This play dramatizes the news of this
defeat reaching the Persian capital.
• The play begins with a chorus of old Persian men singing
about the attack on Greece by the current Persian king, Xerxes.
They have not yet heard the fate of the Persian forces.
• The Queen of Persia enters (unnamed by Aeschylus, but her
name was Atossa). She is the mother of Xerxes (and wife of
the previous king, Darius).
Ancient Greek for Everyone
• The Queen reports an ominous dream. At one point in the dream:
Ξέρξης πέπλους ῥήγνυσιν ἀμφὶ σώματι.
Aeschylus Persians 199
Ξέρξης (nom sg) ὁ Xerxes
πέπλον (acc pl) ὁ robe
ῥήγνυμι rip, break
Ancient Greek for Everyone
• A couplet from Aeschylus’ lost play Ἡλιάδες (Daughters of the Sun) has
this to say about Zeus:
Ζεύς ἐστιν αἰθήρ, Ζεὺς δὲ γῆ, Ζεὺς δ’οὐρανός,
Ζεύς τοι τὰ πάντα...
Aeschylus fr. 70
αἰθήρ –έρος ὁ air
γῆ (nom sg) ἡ earth
Ζεύς, Διός ὁ Zeus
οὐρανός (nom sg) ὁ sky
πάντα (nom/acc pl) τό everything
τοι = a conversational particle that means
“really, you know”
Ancient Greek for Everyone
• Words of encouragement from a lost play of Euripides:
δι’ ἐλπίδος ζῆ καὶ δι’ ἐλπίδος τρέφου.
Euripides Phrixus fr. 826
ζῆ live! (a command)
τρέφου take your nourishment! (a command)
Ancient Greek for Everyone
• In one of Plato’s dialogues, conversation turns to discussion of why
children can be so different from their parents. At one point, one of the
participants, Protagoras, cautions that they should not yet pass judgment
on two young men in the room:
ἔτι γὰρ ἐν αὐτοῖς εἰσιν ἐλπίδες· νέοι γάρ.
Plato Protagoras 328d
ἔτι yet, still
νέοι (nom pl) ὁ young
Ancient Greek for Everyone
• The Athenian orators Aeschines and Demosthenes were long engaged in a
bitter public feud while Philip II of Macedon was gradually taking control
of Greece. Each accused the other of corruption. Here Aeschines has
charged that Demosthenes lied about ambassadors being sent to
τὰ δὲ σώματά ἐστιν αὐτῶν οὐκ ἐν Μακεδονίᾳ,
ἀλλ’ Ἀθήνησι.
Aeschines 2.58
Ἀθήνησι (dat) ἡ Athens
Μακεδονίᾳ (dat sg) ἡ Macedonia
Ancient Greek for Everyone
• From a lawsuit about an investment loan. At one point the prosecutor asks:
διὰ τί ἡμῖν οὐκ ἀποδίδως τὰ χρήματα;
Demosthenes 56.32
ἡμῖν (dat pl) us
χρῆμα –ατος τό thing (pl.) money
Ancient Greek for Everyone
• Aristotle summarizes the argument that there is an infinite number of
ἐπεὶ διαφέρει τὰ σώματα σχήμασιν,
ἄπειρα δὲ τὰ σχήματα,
ἄπειρα καὶ τὰ ἁπλᾶ σώματά φασιν εἶναι.
Aristotle 303a10-12
ἁπλᾶ (nom/acc pl) τό simple, singular
ἄπειρα (nom/acc pl) τό infinite
διαφέρει (3rd sg) differ
σχῆμα –ατος τό shape
Ancient Greek for Everyone
• Aristotle is discussing respiration among sea animals. Crustaceans, he says,
must expel the water that they take in with their food, and:
τὰ μὲν οὖν μαλακόστρακα,
οἷον οἵ τε καρκίνοι καὶ οἱ κάραβοι,
παρὰ τὰ δασέα ἀφιᾶσι τὸ ὕδωρ διὰ τῶν
Aristotle 477a2-4
δασέα (nom/acc pl) τό hairy (part)
ἐπίπτυγμα –ατος τό fold, flap
κάραβοι (nom pl) ὁ crab
καρκίνοι (nom pl) ὁ crawfish
μαλακόστρακα (nom/acc pl) τό crustacean
οἷον for example
ὕδωρ, ὕδατος τό water
Ancient Greek for Everyone
• Aristotle reports on the pain a female heron feels during copulation:
κράζει τε γὰρ καὶ αἷμα, ὡς φασίν, ἀφίησιν ἐκ τῶν
Aristotle 483b15-17
κράζει (3rd sg) cries
ὀφθαλμῶν (gen pl) ὁ eyes
Ancient Greek for Everyone
• From a report on white bears in the region of Mysia. Whenever anyone
comes near them,
ἀφιᾶσιν ἐκ τοῦ στόματος φλέγμα πάμπολύ τι,
ὡς ἔοικεν,
ὃ προσφυσᾷ πρὸς τὰ πρόσωπα τῶν κυνῶν,
ὡσαύτως δὲ καὶ τῶν ἀνθρώπων…
Aristotle 845a21-23
ἀνθρώπων (gen pl) humans
ἔοικεν it seems
κυνῶν (gen pl) ὁ dogs
πάμπολυ (nom/acc sg) τό whole lot
προσφυσᾷ (3rd sg) blows
πρόσωπα (nom/acc pl) τό faces
φλέγμα –ατος τό phlegm, vomit
ὡσαύτως in the same way
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